CitizensLab is a European network of local actors/practitioners of change. Born in 2016, this network has been experimenting, prototyping and inventing with citizens new forms of expression, shared narratives, commonalities, shared spaces, real or symbolic. Since November 2020 CitizensLab has become a registered NGO in Berlin, aiming at working locally as well as internationally.
CitizensLab´s actors are active in different sectors and contexts across wider-Europe. Community organisers, curators of spaces for active citizens, artists and performers of new societies, urban public space re-inventors, activists, disturbers, societal innovators, participatory leaders – people who are able to break out of our own bubbles and hierarchies in a non-violent way and who want to create alternative European encounters that speak to all people.
C&C is very proud to be a member of the European Citizenslab.
Citizenslab is a participatory network of local actors of change from different sectors and context trying to generate systematic change from the root level and not just to tweak symptoms of what is not working. The underlying question is:
‘How can our diverse practices create a more meaningful quality of life in Europe’.
We use a so called Lab Approach to illuminate each other and let a new community intelligence emerge. The key elements of a Lab Approach are:
A shared longer term goal
A core group that co-designs and co-hosts the process and navigates the complexity of the lab
Series of experiments and prototypes where the new system is enacted in real-time
A community of practices for a new system of influence
SWAG (Share ideas, Work together, Act now, Get involved)
Within CitizensLab we work on a prototype to develop new models for education. We want to help children and young people to realise their full potential and to become active citizens. We address education by involving schools in the practices and integrating them in community life. We promote freedom in education and want to strengthen the rights of pupils to take responsibility for their learning processes as well as to advocate democratic participation to become part of decision-making processes in schools. With partners from Budapest, Sofia, Frankfurt, Barcelona and Athens we started preparing a project called SWAG, trying to combine learning and active citizenship.
The commons is an emerging paradigm in Europe embracing cocreation, stewardship, and social and ecological sustainability. Commons perspectives could help to reinvigorate Europe with constructive and concrete policy implications on many terrains. However, much of the current dominant narrative of the EU, focusing on growth, competition, and international trade is in strong contrast with the worldview of the commons. C&C chair Ed Santman was present at the first European Commons Assembly.
In mid-November of this year, the European Commons Assembly was held in cooperation with the Commons Intergroup in the European Parliament, made up of Members of the European Parliament from different parliamentary groups, mainly Greens, the United Left (GUE/NGL), and several Socialists & Democrats Group (S&D) members. The ambition was to promote the establishment of creative institutions and political alternatives, from the local to the European level. In the call for the Assembly, ‘commoners’ from around Europe stated: “We call upon governments, local and national, as well as European Union institutions to facilitate the defense and growth of the commons, to eliminate barriers and enclosures, to open up doors for citizen participation, and to prioritize the common good in all policies.
educatieve programma’s met kunst voor kansarmen en mensen die met justitie en strafrecht in aanmerking zijn gekomen.